How to introduce Kate? Kate is a very rare creative who covers so many different disciplines and skills it’s really hard to sum her up in one word. She is an amazing artist who can draw, paint, create, and generally turn her hand to anything. A true creative mind that is forever pushing herself and learning new skills.
I had the pleasure of working with her for seven years where she was responsible for everything from factory technical digital drawings, repeat print and pattern design for clothing, lingerie, and swimwear, alongside social media and digital artwork. Throughout this time her illustration and print design and creative eye always stunned me and so when building Designed and Created I knew exactly who to call. Kate has designed this website and all of the branding so she really is multi-talented and works in freehand drawing using different media to digital design and branding as well. As an artist on this site, I’m delighted to be showcasing her personal style in print and risograph printing.
Kate has been creating in one form or another since she was a child, but it was while she was studying Art & Design at college that she realised she wanted a career in design. She graduated university with a degree in lingerie design, and then spent seven years designing prints for women’s clothing, lingerie, and swimwear in the apparel industry.
Now a freelancer, Kate is exploring where these design skills can take her next. Print and pattern are still key elements of her practice, but illustration and graphic design are becoming a more important part of this too.
Kate works in a variety of media including watercolour, ink, and digital.
In conversation withKate
Laura: How did your journey start as an artist?
Kate: I have always been obsessed with the idea of creating things, ever since I can remember. When I was very young, my mum taught me the basics of sewing and this sparked a lifelong passion for clothing design and fashion. At every opportunity, I chose paths that took me down this route – I chose Textiles and Art GCSEs, I pursued a BTEC in Art & Design at college, and then I chose a specialist Contour Fashion degree at university. It was there that I discovered a love for print design – completely by accident – and after graduating I was lucky enough to make this my career as I spent seven years as an in house designer at a multi-category women’s clothing brand.
L: How would you describe/explain your work/pieces?
K: At the moment, I would describe my work as being illustrative with graphic elements. I love working in traditional media like watercolour and ink, and combining these with digital elements creates a really interesting effect. I go through stages of being obsessed with different disciplines within design – currently it’s typography and lettering – so will incorporate different things into my work depending on what I’m doing.
L: What’s important to you?
K: Experimentation! This is what keeps me feeling inspired and pushes me to try different things with my work, and I think this is the case for most creatives out there. Trying new things, even when they fail spectacularly, offers such a great learning experience and really is my main source of inspiration.
Design is also very important to me. A great design, no matter what it’s for, can have great impact. The crossover between art and design is very exciting to me – the two can be at odds with one another but at the same time can complement and elevate each other. It’s a fine balance but I think great design combines elements from each discipline.
L: What are you working on at the moment?
K: I’m trying out lots of different styles and ideas to find what sparks something in me! This is ranging from lettering, to trying different media, even making my own ink from foraged ingredients (with varying levels of success). I have so many things on my creative list that I want to do!
I’m also just starting out as a freelance designer, which is a big leap after several years of working for a large brand.
L: What or who influences you?
K: So many things influence me and my work, and often it just depends on what I’m currently trying out and who I’m learning from. But I always go back to historical references and those iconic artists and designers as my key influences. My most inspirational days have been trips out to the V&A Museum where I can take in a vast variety of works from a range of disciplines and time periods. No matter how many times I visit, I always find something I’ve never seen before.
L: What was the last piece of design, art, or craft you bought, why did you buy it, and who was it for?
K: I bought some hand-dipped baubles for my Christmas tree! They’re beautiful with a lovely marble pattern – I just couldn’t resist.